Evangelical churches in Brazil have been threatened with "holy war" if all soul winning of Catholics does not stop immediately.
Bishop Sinesio Bohn, head of a new anti-evangelical movement, demands that the 13 largest Protestant churches and denominations sign a "no proselytizing" treaty.
In return, he said Catholics would agree to stop persecuting Protestants. We will declare a holy war; don't doubt it," he announced at a recent National Conference of the Bishops of Brazil. "The Catholic Church has a ponderous structure, but when we move, we'll smash anyone beneath us." When questioned later, he admitted that such a holy war would "cause a mobilization of decidedly unchristian hatred," but still insisted that such a war was unavoidable unless Protestants agree to stop all evangelism efforts in Brazil.
Evangelicals number more than 30 million of Brazil's 156 million. "Our churches are exploding here," said Caio Fabio, president of the Brazilian Evangelical Association. He described the revival as a "holy plague" because of its rapid spread.
One church, which helped Chick Publications translate Alberto into Portuguese, has planted 1,000 congregations with 750,000 members in just 15 years. Evangelicals in Latin America now exceed 50 million, up from approximately 4 million 20 years ago.
What will "holy war" mean? And what does the good bishop mean by his promise to stop "persecuting" Bible believers if they sign the treaty?
No stories are available from Brazil, but several have recently emerged from equally Roman Catholic dominated Mexico.
The Feb. 20, 1994 Denver Post reported that "an estimated 15,000 people... have been expelled, sometimes at the point of a gun, from their homes and lands because of the religion they practice....
The 'expulsados' are evangelicals and other protestants...who were thrown out of their communities by local authorities who are Catholics."
One missionary who visited Chiapas State, was told of dozens of brutal attacks on non-Catholics.
One woman's house was torched and she was shot in the face with a shotgun when she tried to rescue her children.
She escaped through a corn field to another Christian's house who took her three hours on foot to a hospital. Her children were found later either dead in the fire or mutilated by machete blows.
When she recovered, she was forced to join a slum camp with thousands of other Christians whose homes had also been confiscated by their Roman Catholic attackers.
Even when the authorities make an effort to bring the assassins to justice, they are only given token jail sentences or none at all.
For Latin American Christians, this may be only the beginning. In his recent visits to the area, the pope admonished Roman Catholic leaders there to resist the growing "sects."
The only defense the Bible believers have against this "ponderous structure" which has vowed to "smash anyone beneath us" is to continue winning their people to Christ.
Just as China was turned to Communism by picture booklets, so can those in bondage to the Roman antichrist be loosed by the gospel truth in Chick tracts.
Almost the entire Chick tract line is already translated to Spanish and many to Portuguese, including the ones which have proven effective in winning Catholics to Christ.
The best way to help your missionaries respond to this "holy war" is with the gospel in Chick tracts.